Bryce Casey: Losing a baby is 'crushing'

Bryce Casey always wanted to be a dad. He just wasn't prepared for the heartbreak that would come along the way. 

He and wife Sharyn started trying for a child in 2015, and were thrilled about their first pregnancy.

"I wanted to have babies forever," The Rock host told Newshub. "Then when we did we were both really excited, had the first scan and everything. It was super emotional and exciting."

But a follow-up scan halted their happiness in its tracks.

"The heartbeat that was there the week before wasn't there," Bryce says. "It was crushing."

The couple mourned the loss together and tried to heal so they could move forward with building their family. Then they suffered two more miscarriages in a row. 

However, there was a silver lining to their misery. As two of New Zealand's most high-profile radio hosts, the Caseys had a unique platform to talk about their experiences. They discovered they weren't as alone as they felt.

"Once we did start talking about it, lots of messages came through saying they've had the same things happen and it helped them hearing other people have had the same experiences," Bryce says. "If it helps someone, then that's a good thing."

In 2017 Sharyn fell pregnant again. Naturally, Bryce was nervous but says as the months came and went he felt more and more confident that this time things would work out.

On January 4, 2018, the couple's first child, Tyson, was born. He's brought his parents enormous joy and changed their relationship for the better.

"It's made us better at listening to each other, I reckon," Bryce says. "You really haven't had love like it until you've had a baby. It's really clichéd stuff but it's pretty true. Now it's just cool. After all those bad times, to be able to have little mate there with us now is awesome."

Bryce says he and Sharyn are constantly being asked when they'll have another child, which can become grating after a while - especially as young Tyson is "definitely enough at the moment". 

"I don't know the answer to that. You wonder, 'will it happen the same with the next one?' It's a scary thought, but at the same time, it's an exciting thought. It's like when you get married, people ask when you're going to have a kid. Then once you've had one, it's 'when are you going to have the next one?'"

Expectant mothers are often advised not to disclose their pregnancy until they're at least three months along. But Bryce is no fan of this risk-management strategy.

"Talking is a good thing," he says. "It's only my personal thought, but the more people that know about it, the more people you've got if it doesn't work out, there to support you as well." 

He knows better than most the toll losing a child can have on a relationship and urges grieving couples to stick together and communicate.

"Sometimes I don't think you need to really say anything, it's just being there. Whether it's a hug or being supportive. And shit, just keep trying."

This feature is part of a series about parenting for the upcoming Newshub podcast Man-Child.  

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